Florence, Italy - Wine lovers may one day find themselves buying British champagne or German Chianti as global warming threatens to produce dramatic changes in viticulture, scientists meeting in Italy have warned.
Gregory Jones, Michael White and Owen Cooper, three United States experts attending an August 20-28 International Geological Congress in Florence, have studied the effects of climate change on 27 of the world's top wine producing regions.
Their findings, based on past and predicted changes in growing season temperatures, as well as on trends in quality of recent vintages, are set to shock traditionalists.
The experts predict that an average warming of 2°Celsius in the next 50 years will result in some traditional grape growing regions becoming too hot and others gaining ideal climate conditions for producing high quality wine.
This could, for instance, result in typical Italian reds being produced in Germany or French bubbly being made in southern England.
"In 50 years' time, the ideal climatic conditions for growing Chianti will be found in Germany, while (grapes for French) Champagne and Bordeaux will best grow in southern England," Monday's La Repubblica quoted Jones as saying.
Tuscany, the region where Chianti is produced, is predicted to face a climate currently typical of northern Africa. The experts suggest helping the growth of grapes used to produce the world-famous red wine by means of irrigation - a practice that is currently forbidden by regional authorities.
They also suggest countering the effects of global warming by moving grapevines at higher altitudes.
|Originally Published on ©2004